Big Cities, Small Towns, Similar Goals

  The Atwater Chamber of Commerce occupies the basement of the historic library.

 

The Atwater Chamber of Commerce occupies the basement of the historic library.

 

One of my favorite perks about working for a consulting firm like RSG is that we get to help cities and towns of all shapes and sizes.  In the same week, we could perform a fiscal impact analysis for the City of Los Angeles and then help a small town like Atwater (in Merced County) to apply funding from its former Redevelopment Agency’s old bond proceeds to implement previously planned infrastructure projects in the historic downtown.

With a population of just under 30,000, Atwater is largely a farming community.  More than 7% of its workforce is employed in agricultural and related industries, compared to slightly more than 2% in California and less than 1.5% in the US.  The town used Redevelopment to sustain, and even revive, its historic downtown by funding façade improvements, streetscape improvements, new landscaping, and improved street lighting.

Despite the Great Recession and the elimination of Redevelopment, Atwater’s staff continues to work on maintaining and improving the community.  This includes the implementation of street and streetscape improvements in its downtown core.  As the Atwater Successor Agency’s consultant, RSG works with the city’s staff to follow the requirements of Redevelopment dissolution.  At the same time we secure approval for permissible actions subject to review, such as the spending of proceeds from bonds issued before 2011.

 

  Looking northwest along Broadway, the main boulevard of Atwater's historic downtown. Bond proceeds will be used to improve this street.

 

Looking northwest along Broadway, the main boulevard of Atwater's historic downtown. Bond proceeds will be used to improve this street.

 

Whether we’re working for a big city like Los Angeles or for Atwater and other towns like it, we strive in similar ways to help the communities we work with improve conditions and opportunities for their residents, businesses, and visitors.  At RSG, we have the same goals as the cities and towns that utilize our assistance.  And that’s another one of my favorite perks about working for a consulting firm like RSG: we get to see our efforts improve communities in substantial, meaningful, and long-lasting ways. 

Written by Dima Galkin who is an Analyst at RSG.